Chef sues forensics firm Randox over data manipulation scandal

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Dec 13, 2017
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Billal Hartford lost his job after wrongly being convicted of drug driving

Charles Waller/Hudgell Solicitor/PA

A chef who lost his job as a result of a wrongful conviction in the Randox forensics scandal has become the first victim to sue the firm (John Simpson writes).

Billal Hartford, 21, overturned his conviction for driving under the influence of cannabis after hearing of the allegations of data manipulation at Randox Testing Services, which police fear may affect up to 10,000 cases.

Hartford received a one-year driving ban despite protesting his innocence but challenged the conviction when news of the scandal broke. He had his sample re-tested and it came back clear.

He won back his licence after serving half the ban and is now suing the firm. It is expected to be the first of many such cases. He claims the conviction cost him his job as he could not travel to work and left him isolated in the hamlet of Skutterskelfe, near Hutton Rudby, North Yorkshire.

A spokeswoman for Randox said two former employees remained on police bail, adding that the company “deeply regrets the distress that has been caused ... It is committed to doing what it can to resolve the situation and continues to actively support the police investigation.”

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